Education

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks to Bloomberg reporter Josh Eidelson about the possibility of teachers strikes in Oklahoma and Kentucky, following one in West Virginia that ended with teachers getting a pay raise.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Teachers in West Virginia headed back to work today after a nine-day strike. Their protest was over salaries that were among the lowest in the nation. And their protest worked. They secured a 5 percent raise. So might the success in West Virginia inspire teachers in other parts of the country to agitate for a pay raise?

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

After more than a week of shuttered classrooms, the teacher strike in West Virginia is set to come to an end.

The state's governor and teachers union announced Tuesday they had reached a deal to implement a 5 percent raise for state employees across the board. And a little later in the day, lawmakers passed the measure with a unanimous vote.

Gov. Jim Justice is expected to quickly sign the deal.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Updated: March 7 at 9:49 p.m.

There’s been a lot of chatter on social media about when a statewide teacher walkout might take place.

On Wednesday, the president of the Oklahoma Education Association—Alicia Priest— revealed the union’s official plan. She said in a Facebook video that lawmakers have until April 1st to pass a budget.

In Kelly Stevens' kindergarten classroom, each day begins with circle time for what sounds like a menu of lesson options.

Students — or "friends" as Stevens calls them — can read at the green table, they can build boats or make things out of clay, among other options.

Students Marco Carias Castellanos and Holden Free chose a writing activity today. But there's no worksheet in front of them. Instead, they're standing in front of wolf statues they made out of blocks and their assignment is to write labels for body parts.

"Philando Feeds the Children," a fundraiser in memory of school cafeteria supervisor Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2016, has paid all outstanding student lunch debt at all 56 schools in the St. Paul, Minn., Public School system.

"Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out," the charity wrote in an update posted last week. "One by one. With your help."

"There was a girl in my class who had on dirty clothes. The other kids laughed at her but I played with her during recess."

That's an everyday act of kindness toward a child who is being ostracized. It was reported by an elementary school student who took part in a new, nationally-representative survey of children ages 9 to 11. The purpose was to capture not only the bad, but also the good of how children treat each other, and even a little bit of the why.

Here are some of the key findings:

LORIE SHAULL / FLICKR/CC BY-SA 2.0

Oklahoma lawmakers enacted legislation in 2015 that lets school employees, including teachers, carry guns on campus. Okay Public Schools, near Tahlequah, appears to be the only district in the state that uses the law to arm its staff.

Superintendent Pete Hiseley did not work for the district in 2015 when the Okay Public School Board agreed to let school employees carrying guns.

West Virginia educators and school workers yet again plan to head to the Capitol in Charleston to rally lawmakers for better pay and health care benefits. Monday could be a pivotal day in the ongoing work stoppage for teachers and school service personnel across the state. The continued approach of county school officials remains in question, the state board of education could take legal action and legislative deadlines loom.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

When President Donald Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last September, he put 700,000 immigrants’ futures in jeopardy.

The Obama-era policy, also known as DACA, protects young people who were brought to America by their parents — many illegally — from deportation.

West Virginia's public schools were closed Thursday, as teachers across the state walked out and protested for better pay and benefits from state lawmakers.

Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill Wednesday to give teachers a 2 percent pay raise starting in July, and an additional 1 percent pay increase in 2020 and 2021.

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